Canadian Contractor

Minister, it is unbelievable that you have accepted this conflict of interest (at the College of Trades) and done nothing about it…

The Ontario College of Trades is about as democratic as the Republic of North Korea. It needs to stop congratulating itself about how it's all about the trades being "self-regulated." No contractor ever voted for any policy decision from the Ontario College of Trades, except for the handful that have been selected by their (mostly union) friends and (public sector) cronies for plum board or committee jobs. The self-regulation stuff is nothing but BS.

July 18, 2014
By Steve Payne

Licensed plumber Garfield Dunlop, an Ontario MPP who has fought long and hard against what he calls the “boondoggle” that is the Ontario College of Trades, believes the College is involved in (yet another) conflict of interest. He believes that the Liberals’ minister in charge of the College, Reza Moridi, is about to appoint a lawyer who has done more than 60 separate legal assignments for the electricians’ union in the past 20 years to “advise” on the future of the College. Here’s the exact question he asked Reza Moridi, the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, on Wednesday, during Question Period at Queen’s Park…

“Bernie Fishbein worked as an advocate for the electricians union representing them in over 60 separate legal cases in the past 20 years. In spite of the obvious conflict of interest, your College of Trades saw fit to appoint him as chair of the electricians (journeyman-apprentice) ratio review panel, where he recommended the ratio proposed by the union who employed him for 20 years. Minister, it is unbelievable that you have accepted this conflict of interest and done nothing about it. Yesterday, the minister told the house, that he was going to appoint an advisor to review the boondoggle at the College of Trades. Mr Speaker, in spite of his clear conflict of interest… Mr. Fishbein is apparently being considered to review the College of Trades. Minister, will you be appointing Bernie Fishbein, the paid advocate of the electricians union to be your advisor on the planned review of the Ontario College of Trades?”

Editor’s Note:  Reza Moridi’s answer was to, predictably and appallingly, utterly ignore the specific question about conflict of interest as if it had never been asked, and waffle pompously about what a great job the College is doing, and how it is “promoting” the trades, and how the trades needed to be “self-regulating.” (Note: the Ontario College of Trades is “self-regulated” by the tradespeople on the jobsite in the same way that Kim Jong-un is “self-regulated” by the people of North Korea. Maybe the College could “promote the trades” by having their next board meeting in Pyongyang. As Mr. Moridi will know, the College’s entire board and administration and its CEO were all APPOINTED and there is ABSOLUTELY ZERO democracy or representation of the tradespeople in their workplaces actually going on at the OCOT – unlike the structures of the other “professional” colleges (teachers, doctors, and all the other “professionals”) that the College likes to arrogantly compare itself to.


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10 Comments » for Minister, it is unbelievable that you have accepted this conflict of interest (at the College of Trades) and done nothing about it…
  1. What do we expect from the Ontario Liberal minister in charge of the OCOT, Reza Moridi, as she chooses to ignore the question on the floor asked of her about the latest conflict of interest at OCOT (Ontario College of Trades)
    There has never been truer words spoken than in today’s article by Steve Payne, editor of Canadian Contractor, as he describes democracy inside OCOT as liking it to Kim Jong-un listening to his destitute people in North Korea.
    Ontario trades people are forced to pay fees into OCOT and yet they have no voice or representation. OCOT direction comes from within and they are called unions.
    The day the Liberals, the carpenters union and OCOT unleash their nuclear bomb on the Ontario renovation industry and the general construction industry, will start the decline of the independent self employed non union home renovator and towards their extinction.
    Extinction may take time, but when the penny finally drops, homeowners will only realize then, to late, they’ve been duped and now it takes around 7 unionized workers to renovate their bathroom and at huge cost.

    The fuse is set, the Liberals have been re elected, so let the games begin and allow OCOT to expand its tentacles of hiring more bureaucrats, increase the sizes of their University Ave office, increase their incomes, put in place great pensions, add an amazing health care plan and line their pockets with golden nuggets.
    Kim Jong-un democracy is now here in Ontario under the banner called OCOT. What a charade of smoke and mirrors!

    Alec Caldwell
    Founder CARAHS
    (Canadian Association of Renovators And Home Service)

    Passion – Commitment – CARAHS

  2. Mark Mitchell says:

    That was a great comment by Steve. He has seen through the smoke and mirrors, the wonderful words, and the outright lies that OCOT supporters are spewing. I keep hearing the same words from the suits that run this show. ” This college is industry driven” They can’t tell us which industry though. The hairdressing industry? Automotive industry? Construction industry? There is no industry that supports it, except the cushy government job industry, and the construction union management industry. No one that gets up at 5 in the morning to go freeze their ass off supports these suits and their bureaucracy. There are only 7 people that work there that are even registered journeymen, so how can we let them make decisions about our future? I personally have refused to pay them. So if my CofQ is revoked, so be it. I can always move to Saskatchewan, where the govt treats tradespeople like they want them to stay!

  3. Joe Greps says:

    On a side – can we get our opposition to get their facts straight it – only discredits our position when they are wrong.

    As loathsome as the OCoT is they did not increase the electrician ratio to 6:1 and they don’t bill additionally for every trade ticket.

    It is the OCoT that needs to be discredited, their consistent claims of being an independent self governing College are a flagrant lie. You are not independent when you receive $5M in budgetary support from the government, you are not a self governing body without democratic elections. Their rights to consistently claim as much needs to be legally challenged, along with their abuses of privacy rights and other questionable practices. This would be a better investment of our opposition than a political campaign that will net nothing in the next 4 years.

    In truth our union elected government is sure to be deaf to our concerns and little will change but it does not mean we need to be quiet. I am grateful for Canadian Contractors consistent coverage of this, as Carl Sagan wrote – real patriots ask questions. I think we just need to make sure the questions are the right ones and the rest will take care of itself – at the core the OCoT is not a defensible organization. They make all kinds of claims, they represent none of them.

    Ask questions – with millions spent and a year behind them of the meager 217 infraction notices the College so proudly claims in protecting the public interest – how many were related to competency issues as opposed to fee payment?

    If I was a betting man I suspect less than a dozen, in truth maybe none.

    Is that reasonable?

  4. Bob2 says:

    It looks like some trades will have more things to worry about not just OCOT, the feds have declared fast tracking for jobs like carpentry, heavy duty mechanic, welders, electrical, I don’t know what those fields look like in the supply and demand arena but it doesn’t look good.

  5. Questo says:

    I agree with Steve, all this Liberal democratic government fits well in north Korea or elsewhere.

    Its a dis-government, chosen by the public unions, paid by the public tax payers, insane. Unions should only concentrate themselves in collective agreements for their members nothing more, should never be allowed in financial support of any kind of political parties, nor promotion and advertising.

    Unions halls, should never be used as grounds for political propaganda, its seems like a conflict of interest. Now we apparently have the dis-Liberal union government.

    How can a vote be mark using pencil, why elections Canada not allowing a punch hole, much secure and not allowing space for fraud. Some countries don`t allow pencils in vote stations, pen or punch hole.

    Nothing is democratic anymore apparently, and should be called the democratic bug, infestation of self greed.

    Yeah, to the Liberals, miss. bha bha the people of Ontario have spoken, that’s right, but you and all of your cronies miss the reality, when 61 % abstain and 39 % voted and majority of this 39 % isn`t majority at all.

    If was in any union hall a vote for a strike should be 51 % or no pass under the ORLB. One can wonder why elections Canada allow this none cense majority to pass.

    Now if the 61 % take their discounted to the streets, the Liberal government then may see the reality of their majority.

    Elusion became reality, what is wrong became right, what is illegal became legal, and so on, apparently a lot of humans lost their censes of their own reality, in doing so spread their contamination far and wide.

    Apparently the OCOT and other government sideways cash agencies are in conflict of interest directly or indirectly. Its the revolving door for the cronies in our cost, the trades people.

    Time to close all these cronies once for all. If anyone refuse to pay to them all at once, they have no chose then close their doors.

  6. Victor says:


    OCOT parasites have the power to take away the right to work from those who refused to pay for OCOT parasites’ sky high salaries.

    OCOT bureaucrats rob us and then they force us, the abused, to pay for that abuse!

    The Ontario College of Trades has raped everyone just a little bit. First we got disgusted, spent 5 minutes and posted an angry online comment. And then everyone has swallowed the abuse and paid the fee.

    The OCOT has the law, courts and enforcement powers behind it. So we got scared of becoming an outlaw, of facing fines and courts, of the possibility to lose a license and the source of income. Each of us gave up!

    And that was exactly how the Ontario College of Trades has planned and designed it to happen. Divide and threaten then blatantly abuse, rob and rule!

    A bunch of smart bureaucrats – parasites drunk with entitlement and power have won. And tens of thousands of us, hardworking tradespeople have lost.



  7. Questo says:

    Hey Victor, great comment; not everyone in the compulsory trades had paid into this OCOT, I too refused, to pay their fees after 26 years in my career, in the senior level already. I am using different part of my career which I don’t need this membershit.

    You mention, they have the law and the courts on their side? Don’t think so, this was done improper, not in a free vote, their setup was on the tax payers money, and still, and they don’t offer nothing in return. This is a scam, I agree with you, but first a consultation should be in the table with constitutional lawyers, before going into the fight with them.

    To do that, should be known how much will that cost and asking all members already in the OCOT and those not there, to help with the bill, kind a class action lawsuit. if gets going, a lot of lawsuits could be set in motion, including the Ecra too. This is my opinion, on this subject.

    In the same manner, elections Canada, could be asked why in the world, a majority of 39% will form government, when is clear the majority of people 61 % refuse to vote, that’s a clear manifestation of the majority, but wasn’t pay attention to it, something is rotten, in Denmark,,,

  8. Victor says:


    consult constitutional lawyers and ask OCOT members to help with the bill ——- indeed, I agree, it is necessary. But no one would pay for this. Most would rather pay $120 to OCOT and forget about it.

    That is OCOT’s main strength – after the scam got legalized, they have the law, courts and enforcement powers behind them. And OCOT pays their lawyers with our own money to persecute us!


    The only problem is – how to make everybody NOT to pay the fee.

  9. Victor says:


    Please spread the word. Post the link on your forums, discussions and social media.

    No one would be able to rape a monolith made of 100000 of proud people.

    United we stand, divided we fall!

    Are there any trades people willing to take more radical measures like going on strike or taking OCOT to court?

    the petitions, social media and talking have failed; the abuse and legalized robbery continues

    we, the abused, should take a real action to stop the OCOT from robbing us and our children

    I am looking for folks ready to really fight it

  10. ralf says:

    I think the only way we can make these people hear us is not to fix there shit, tell them to busy, I did that to wsib. 60 days to pay me to fix their ac system, then tax excemt on top, I had pay tax on the parts. then no we don’t want a regular service done just come right away when its broke, ya I got nothing better to do the wait for you guys to call and run. guess what next call I had no time, call some one who cares cause they don’t care about me. I think if we all say to those leeches like wsib the ocot, since they are so smart why don’t u fix it yourself, guess what no heat no ac no water no electricity, no drywall, see how they can send you a bill, they just spend our money anyway, no work for cruel people

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